Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a heart defect that is present at birth (congenital). While the baby is in the womb, there is normally an opening between the upper chambers of the heart (atria) to allow blood to flow around the lungs. This opening usually closes around the time when the baby is born. If the opening does not close, the hole is called an atrial septal defect or ASD.
In an ASD catheter-based procedure, a cardiac catheterization involves slowly moving a catheter (a long, thin, flexible, hollow tube) into the heart. The catheter is initially inserted into a large vein through a small incision made usually in the inner thigh (groin area) and then is advanced to and into the heart.
An ASD closure device is moved through the catheter to the heart and specifically to the location of the heart wall defect. Once in the correct location, the ASD closure device is allowed to expand its shape to straddle each side of the hole. The device will remain in the heart permanently to stop the abnormal flow of blood between the two atria chambers of the heart. The catheter is then removed and the procedure is complete.